If I've learned anything since starting on this venture of running my own little cottage industry--and wow I've learned alot--it's that things are always changing. And part of being a good businessperson and part of being a creative person too, is learning to embrace that change.
This holiday season, so far, has blown my mind. If you has asked me back in August if I was prepared for the holiday shopping craziness, I would have assured you that my little shop was raring to go. I had plenty of items preprinted and stacks of holiday cards all ready to be shipped out.
Now I can tell you, I certainly was not prepared. At all. I never imagined I would sell so many holiday cards and calendars as I have over the last few months. I never imagined just how many notecards I would be cutting or how many prints I would send to their new homes. I blew my sales goals out of the water for the last three months and all I can say is WOW!
And thank you. I've said it a hundred times before and will probably say it even more than that: but this little venture would not be possible without my growing fan base and all my lovely buyers!
Now with this delightful upswing in business, comes the extra work. I've always worked hard when it comes to my business. I've always worked a lot and when I wasn't working, I was thinking about what to work on next. But these last few weeks have been trying, even for me. Sixteen hour days, even when doing something you love, tend to wear on a person eventually.
And I think I was starting to feel the wear. So, of course, I sat down with a notebook and a pen to make some lists and figure out how to work smarter.
Work smarter, not harder will be my mantra for the coming year.
And one big change that I've planning to implement after the end of the year is that I will be outsourcing some of my printing, mainly my paper goods. I've found that notecards and other paper items have become a large part of my business and while I love having a diverse offering of products, I find that so much of my time is spent printing/cutting/packaging notecards that I have much less time to focus on new illustrations, new products, new projects.
So in the spirit of being able to create more goodness to share with you, instead of offering my current selection of flat notecards, I will be getting some beautiful postcards done up by an outside printer, like this:
I'm hoping to still have a wide variety and plan on adding pretty new designs for holidays and new seasons. Having some paper goods done by an outside printer will also allow me to lower prices a little bit on postcard packs. And I will also be able to add some lovely new items to shop like notepads and small blank journals.
That said, I will still be offering a few sets of small flat notecards that are printed in my studio and I will also still be accepting custom requests for large batches whenever possible.
However, beginning in January, I will begin cleaning out the paper goods section of my shop so if you've got your eye on something, I suggest stocking up before the end of the year. And if there is one design you'd love to see on postcards or just a design you don't want to go away completely, please let me know!
Now, it looks like it is time for me to get outside and start enjoying the snow!